Commentary

Mohler: In Defense of Christendom

Bret Stephens recently wrote a very courageous and important article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “In Defense of Christendom.”

In it, he explains that “the death of Europe is in sight.” Europeans hold shallow beliefs shallowly and “no longer believe in are the things from which their beliefs spring: Judaism and Christianity; liberalism and the Enlightenment . . . Having ignored and undermined their own foundations, he writes, they wonder why their house is coming apart.”

You cannot have Christian civilization without Christianity, but that is exactly what Europe is trying to do. Just a few years ago, the European Union refused to acknowledge the Christian roots of the civilizations that it claims to represent in their basic political documents.

The moral worldview that made modern democracy and modern notions of liberty possible have only emerged from an explicitly Judeo-Christian civilization.

And this isn’t just Europe’s problem: We now see at virtually warp speed that the same house is coming apart in our own country.

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Thornbury: A Revealing News Story at the U.N.

Greg Thornbury

Few Americans keep up with the arcane politics of the United Nations. So it shouldn’t surprise us that the disposition of membership applications to the U.N.’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Affairs went underreported recently.

But it’s actually a very revealing news story.

Here’s why: The state of Egypt voted in favor of Israel’s application the first time since 1948 that Egypt has backed the Jewish state.

This is no fluke. President El Sisi of Egypt has spent his time in office reaching out to the Israelis. He’s also publicly challenged radical Muslim clerics to reform Islam. What’s more, El Sisi has showed solidarity with Egypt’s Christian community in the wake of attacks earlier this year.

It’s sad to say but true: these days, there’s more support for Israel and persecuted Christians in Cairo than on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Hewitt: A New Speaker Determined to Sell Ideas

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

Last week the new Speaker of the House joined my program for his first radio interview since becoming Speaker of the House.

Speaker Ryan promised a much-needed, night-and-day change for the chamber, one that foreshadows crucial differences in the way Congress will operate:

Clip: “Look, I see the whole shooting match coming up in 2016. Again, one of the reasons why I chose to do this, and one of the reasons, one of the conditions, more or less, I talked to my colleagues about, which is we’ve got to go on offense, big and bold, specific agenda and vision in 2016, and let the country choose, because the kind of an election we have to have is a mandate election.”

The new speaker knows the contemporary media environment and he knows he must sell ideas and help build an infrastructure for conservative ideas … and he did not waste any time before he got about the business of doing so.

Speaker Ryan comes armed for the communications battles that are ahead.

Conservatives should be thrilled.

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Medved: “Bridge of Spies” Provides Missing Context

Steven Spielberg’s remarkable, refreshing historical epic “Bridge of Spies” provides crucial context missing from most movies about the Cold War era.

Those prior films emphasize anti-Communist hysteria in America, without showing the tyrannical excesses of the Soviet system that inspired our fears. “Bridge of Spies” is different: Tom Hanks plays a real-life, idealistic lawyer who provoked angry hostility for defending an accused Russian spy. But in this case, the spy is unequivocally guilty, and the second half of the film depicts the horrors of the Communist system he serves.

In the past, two of Spielberg’s greatest achievements lost out at Oscar Time to less worthy candidates. “Saving Private Ryan” lost Best Picture to “Shakespeare in Love,” while the sublime “Lincoln” lost to “Argo.” Perhaps with “Bridge of Spies” the Academy can end this misguided pattern.

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Mohler: Not Nearly Good Enough

A surprising announcement recently came from the Communist Party in China, indicating that the party’s leadership will rescind the nation’s infamous one child only policy and replace it with, what’s in effect, a two-child policy.

Adam Taylor in the Washington Post explains, “The decision appears to have been driven by concerns that the country’s low fertility rate would create a crisis that eventually could threaten the legitimacy of Communist Party rule.”

In other words, the Chinese Communist Party made this decision, not for the good of people, not for the sanctity of human life, not out of respect for marriage, but out of concern for its own existence.

The documented horrors under the one child policy of forced abortions, compulsory sterilization and infanticide will certainly continue under the two-child policy. After all, a totalitarian regime always does what is perceived to be in its own interest.

People looking at the headlines coming out of China about this announcement are likely to think it’s good news. But a closer look at the reality reminds us it’s not nearly good enough.

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Medved: To Win Young People, Face Forward, Not Backward

Republicans must do better among voters under thirty if they hope to capture the White House. In 2012, these young people comprised just 19 percent of the electorate, but provided Obama with his entire margin of victory. Among the 81 percent of voters over 30, Mitt Romney won a majority, but with under-thirties Obama scored a decisive 23-point margin.

To avoid repeating this pattern, conservatives must drop slogans like “Take Our Country Back”—young people don’t want to go back, they want to go forward. We should emphasize future reforms, not issues of the past, like Obamacare and gay marriage. Let’s improve the health insurance for tomorrow, not just repeal a program that was imposed yesterday. On marriage, we should strengthen traditional man-woman marriages, not threaten to undo those same sex marriages that already exist.

To win young people, conservatives must face the future boldly, not to try to recapture the recent past.

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Hewitt: Speaker Ryan

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The good Congressman from Wisconsin is now “Mr. Speaker.”

Last Thursday—after receiving 236 votes from his GOP House colleagues—Paul Ryan was officially elected the 54th Speaker of the House.

House Minority Leader (and, of course, former Speaker herself) Nancy Pelosi took part in the transition: “It is my privilege to hand this gavel to Speaker of the House, Congressman and Honorable Paul Ryan”

It was a great moment in American Democracy. It was a moment that brought together (albeit briefly) both the right and the left. Paul Ryan is not only a very talented man, he is also a very good man.

I’ve been watching this whole business long enough to know that the future for Speaker Ryan will not be easy. Those challenges will come soon enough.Today is a day to say, “Congratulations.”

From me—and from all of us here at the Salem Media Group—the warmest and most heartfelt “Congratulations.” Godspeed. You will do well.

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